WHDM 318: Workplace Management and Communication Skills (3 credits)

The purpose of this course is to examine what skills, roles, and knowledge are central to being an effective manager. We will also explore management functions including concepts of return to work and occupational health and safety wellness programs. Since communication is one of the essential skills for managers in all areas, including workplace health programs, an introduction to the theory and practice of communication is provided. The course focuses on effective communication in individual and group workplace situations in order to support employees with health and disability challenges. Students will learn more about the role of effective communication and management in order to plan, organize, lead, and influence workplace health and safety programs.

Prerequisite: WHDM 215

WHDM 215: Human Resources & Organizational Development (3 credits)

The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the human resource management (HRM) function within organizations, and to delineate the HRM structures and processes employed to enhance employee health, safety, and well-being while maximizing work performance. Additionally, HRM principles of organizational development and change are examined along with the role of change agents in this regard when introducing new policies or procedures aimed at maximizing employee health and performance.

WHDM 308: Case Management: Information Gathering (3 credits)

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to case management and its principles, models, and phases from a return-to-work focus. Disability case management is the process whereby one individual acts as the central liaison and facilitator for the delivery to clients of a range of services that can facilitate a return to work. Data gathering is an essential component of Case Management, and requires skilled interviewing techniques not only to obtain relevant information but also to uncover challenges and opportunities in order to develop effective responses to both. Models of helping and the potential and limitations of the helping role will be explored. Students will practice strategies to ensure that case management approaches are worker-centered, and that differences in background and situation are recognized and respected. The process of interview techniques and skills that enable disability management professionals to return to work will be explored through an inter-disciplinary approach.


WHDM 207: Case Analysis & Research Methods (3 credits)

The purpose of this course is to provide a foundation in research skills, with a focus on those that are applicable to the workplace. Topics include the literature review as an underpinning for research questions and approaches, and commonly used research methodologies, including case analysis, action research, correlational research methods, and quasi-experimental and experimental research methods.

WHDM 107: Workplace Prevention & Health Promotion (3 credits)

The purpose of this course is to provide an understanding of the major components of an occupational health & safety program and management system, as well as of health promotion and workplace wellness, within the context of population health. Students will explore the processes related to identifying, measuring and mitigating risks to health and safety as well as population health determinants with a particular emphasis on employment and employment-related factors. Students will learn about theories related to individual health behaviors, and the role of workplace wellness and culture as factors influencing the physical and mental health of workers. Students will examine the characteristics of psychologically healthy workplaces and programs to promote the mental wellbeing of workers. The course will also address the considerations that influence decisions about program components, including marketing, communication, quality management & assurance, budgeting, purchasing, delivery and evaluation.


WHDM 106: The Body and Mind at Work (3 credits)

This course provides a multidisciplinary introduction to the interaction between physiological, biomechanical and psychomotor functioning and psychological, cognitive, and emotional processes. It provides an introduction to physiological and cognitive systems from the standpoint of the work context. Students will situate their learning about the body and mind at work in different work situations. The course provides an insight into the dynamic interaction between an individual and work using a biopsychosocial perspective on mental and physical functioning. It also explores the interaction between work and physical and mental health and well-being, and the effectiveness of workplace strategies developed to maintain worker health and capacity, and to respond to problems.

WHDM 105: Disability Management & Return to Work (3 credits)

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to three components of disability management: disability management as a discipline and the value it provides; corporate disability management programming best practice; and the role of an effective disability management practitioner in driving client experience. In each component, students will develop a broad understanding of: theories and concepts that underline disability management, legislative and policy frameworks, disability benefits and financial impacts to workers and employers, working with multiple stakeholders, client experience, and strategies and practices to achieve work retention and/or early return to work for workers who experience a work- related injury, or who are at risk of a health-related absence.

WHDM 306: Applied Research (3 credits)

Disability management professionals are expected to interpret scientific literature and translate academic knowledge into their professional practice. At times, they may also be involved in primary data collection to answer complex research questions and evaluate the impact of work disability management interventions. This course aims at building real-world competences in the design and implementation of research methodologies within the workplace. Throughout the course, real-life examples from research in the field of work disability will be utilized as examples. This course is designed to build on previous BDM courses, which introduce research methods and statistical analytical techniques. The skills developed in this course include the practical skills and insights required to undertake an independent research project in the final year of the program. The course places a particular emphasis on research that is most relevant to workplace health and disability management such as needs analysis, program evaluation, or implementation research. This course is also relevant to preparing students for additional research training at the postgraduate level.

WHDM 412b: Final Practicum (3 credits)

Students can only register for this course once all necessary approvals have been obtained. The normal duration of a practicum is 10 weeks and involves 150 hours. Progress in experiential learning and work performance is monitored by the faculty member through review meetings with the student and the supervisor. It is the student’s responsibility to participate in evaluation and review meetings and to produce a written report of the practicum experience on completion of the course. This includes both a mid-term and final evaluation meeting. The practicum supervisor is responsible for providing an induction to the students into the host organization, organizing the practical work duties of the student, and supporting the student’s learning experiences. He or she will submit a mid-term and final summary of the student’s progress to the faculty member and participate in review meetings with the student and the faculty member. During the practicum, the supervisor is expected to maintain regular contact with the faculty member. The faculty member is responsible for coordinating review meetings and ensuring that academic standards and learning objectives are met. The faculty member grades the student’s achievement based on the quality of the practicum reports produced by the student, the evaluation of the practicum supervisor, and student performance and participation in review meetings.

WHDM 412a: Practicum Preparation and Sectoral Study (3 credits)

This course is designed to develop a student’s knowledge and understanding of a workplace health issue relevant to a work sector in which the student wishes to deepen their knowledge and prepare a proposal for a practicum placement in a workplace role under the supervision of a Certified Disability Management Professional (CDMP). Students are facilitated to identify a work sector and a relevant issue such as prevention of injury, disability management, or promotion of health in the workplace. Based on a literature review of grey, policy, and evidence literature, students produce a summary report of current practice and challenges in their selected sector. In parallel, students are assisted to identify a practicum placement opportunity in the domain of workplace health, to agree to the terms and learning objectives of the practicum with a prospective appropriately qualified supervisor, to gain required permissions from the employer and supervisor, and to submit a practicum proposal to the university for approval. Academic performance is assessed based on the quality of the sectoral study and the approved practicum proposal. Students can make a case for undertaking the practicum in their current workplace and job role if they can justify that the activities specified for the practicum genuinely support the acquisition of new knowledge and skills and if they have arranged for an independent and appropriately qualified practicum supervisor.

WHDM 410b: Final Research Project (3 credits)

Under the supervision of the faculty advisor, the student implements the approved research project plan. This can involve recruiting participants, gaining informed consent and collecting either qualitative, quantitative or case study data. The student prepares the data for statistical analysis or interpretative processing, implements an appropriate data reduction procedure and summarizes the results. Based on the results, the student generates a set of conclusions and recommendations in discussion with the supervisor. The student submits a detailed project report, which includes a reflection on the research process and lessons learnt for future research activities, for assessment.

Prerequisite: Students must be in the final year of the program

WHDM 410a: Final Research Project Proposal (3 credits)

The purpose of WHDM 410a and 410b is to provide students with the opportunity to consolidate their learning in the BDM by developing and implementing a research project under the supervision of a faculty advisor. The student selects a theme or topic in consultation with the advisor, reviews the relevant literature and generates a working research question. The faculty advisor facilitates the student to focus the research question and to consider the most appropriate approach to exploring it using appropriate research design and methodologies. The project can involve documenting practical experience or critical analysis of workplace health practice at a system, organizational or individual level. In addition to standard qualitative or quantitative research or evaluation designs, both personal practice and single case study designs in collaboration with another person are acceptable. The student produces a structured proposal and formulates a project management plan which is submitted to the PCU-WHS Research Ethics Committee for approval. The proposal is revised based on the feedback from the PCUREC and may be re-submitted if required.

Prerequisites: Students must be in the final year of the program

WHDM 409: The Changing Nature of Work (1.5 credits)

The purpose of this course is to examine factors that affect the nature of work and how it is performed. This will include technological change, work organization, the divide between rote work and more cognitively complex tasks, globalization and organizational mobility, and the use of outsourcing and temporary employees. There will be an emphasis on how the transformation of work in the contemporary world of work impacts upon the field and practice of disability management.

WHDM 408: Workplace Insurance and Benefits (3 credits)

The purpose of this course is to explore the types of workplace insurance that are commonly available, along with questions about how insurance is funded, how benefits are calculated, and who provides the insurance – whether private, public or some combination of the two. Participants will be expected to apply concepts of their own jurisdictions.

WHDM 407: Conflict Resolution & Negotiation in the Workplace (3 credits)

The purpose of this course is to provide participants with a background in theories, models, tools, and strategies to manage workplace conflict. Modules will be designed to provide theoretical grounding in conflict management models, and also to move past theory in order to use models based on those theories to strategically manage workplace conflict.

WHDM 406: Case Management & Service Coordination Part 2 (3 credits)

The purpose of this course is to examine the skills and knowledge required for case management and service coordination, along with problem solving processes used in complex situations. The client’s role as the centre of the process will be explored. Students will also consider issues related to diversity, lack of client commitment to the process, and ethics and law.

Prerequisite: WHDM 403 or WHDM 308

WHDM 405: Ethics in Disability Management (3 credits)

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the field of ethics, the role of the Disability Management Professional and the application of ethics to workplace issues.   There will be a focus on the CDMP Ethical Standards and Professional Conduct document and how it applies to providing disability management services. The course will cover concept specific information in ethics and examples or points of contact between concept specific information and the disability management profession. Through individual work and group discussions, students will move from obtaining information to potential application in their professional work lives.   Students will work through the CDMP Ethical Standards and Professional Conduct document to determine the potential application to disability management services.

WHDM 404: Economics of Workplace Health Initiatives (3 credits)

This course introduces students to the application of economics concepts to workplace health initiatives. Students will consider the costs and benefits to individuals, organizations, and society (as represented by governments, and quasi-governmental agencies) when occupational health and safety programs, disability management programs and wellness programs are in place or are improved.

WHDM 402: Unions and the Workplace (3 credits)

The purpose of this course is to provide an understanding of the international, national, and regional frameworks of the labour movement and how unions operate in representing workers and interacting with management. The focus of the course is on how the union movement has contributed to improving working
conditions and occupational health and safety on behalf of injured workers; training and advocacy initiatives; labour efforts in return to work and accommodation; mechanisms of participation, labour’s critique of employer wellness and behaviour-based safety programs. Factors affecting the potential for cooperation between the employers and labour and critical issues for labour in occupational health and safety, accommodation, and return to work are reviewed

WHDM 401: Ergonomics (3 credits)

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the score of ergonomics and the application of ergonomic principles to work organization. It includes an overview of concepts and related theory and ergonomic assessment processes, and the identification and application of solutions.